Crawfish Half n' Half & Pasta Monica at Dodie's Cajun Diner

I grew up in Slidell, Louisiana, just north of Lake Pontchartrain, a stone’s throw from the fine city of N’Awlins. When you spend your childhood in Cajun country, you develop a palate for good Cajun and Creole food. So, food nerdy app recommendation of Dodie’s Cajun Diner was a perfect one for me, especially since I’d been craving a nice plate of crawfish etouffee.

My husband, David, and I dined out around 7 pm on Sunday. Dodie’s has a sort of sports bar, seat-yourself atmosphere, and the place was almost deserted when we walked in. Some of the tables were also dirty or uncleared, which was somewhat less than impressive, but we found a clean booth and sat down.

I checked Foursquare and found a few recommendations for our order, including one from our own Elysa for the fried pickles. Another Foursquare tip recommended the Pasta Monica with Blackened Chicken. David went for the pasta, and I ordered the Crawfish Half & Half: half crawfish etouffee, half fried crawdad, and hopefully, all delicious.

The fried pickles were a good choice: a generous plate served piping hot, with a flavorful batter that complemented the salty dill slices and a big cup of ranch dip.

And when our entrees arrived, the portions were huge and looked amazing:

Crawfish Half n' Half & Pasta Monica at Dodie's Cajun Diner
Crawfish Half n’ Half & Pasta Monica at Dodie’s Cajun Diner

However, the taste did not quite live up to the presentation. One review on Yelp noted that Dodie’s was sort of a sanitized Cajun cuisine, and after a few bites, I had to agree.

The etouffee was good, but it was also missing something. It had a nice spicy heat, but was lacking a certain zest. While I wouldn’t call it bland, I kept wishing that they had kicked the Cajun flavor up a notch or two (and I do mean flavor, not heat). The same was true for my husband’s Pasta Monica: pretty good, but missing some of that Louisiana spice. The fried crawfish came much closer: tasty batter and juicy crawfish tails, fried just right.

I was also a bit disappointed in my side order of new potatoes. I was expecting new potatoes out of the crawfish boil: the ones that set your lips on fire but are so good you don’t care. However, it was just a boiled potato dashed with seasoning. Not bad, just not what I had hoped for.

Overall, we enjoyed our meal, but I don’t know that Dodie’s has left enough of an impression to become my go-to Cajun place in North Texas.

In Short: Dodie’s is good but not great, and the food seems to be missing some of the flavor that makes Cajun cuisine so delicious. It is reasonably priced and does the job if you have a serious hankering for Louisiana food. I’ll probably be back to give some of their other dishes a shot, but I’ll also continue to be on the lookout for better Cajun restaurants in Dallas.

Where do you go for a Cajun fix?

Star Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Price: $5-10 for appetizers | $10-15 for entrees

Dodie’s Cajun Diner

Locations (last updated 2023) in Rockwall & Allen